Local presence at global film event

first_imgBesides the screenings of documentaries, the IDFA also holds debate forums for industry experts. The festival is widely marketed throughout Amsterdam before and during its run. Workshops for aspiring filmmakers are presented by those who have been in the industry for a while. (Images: IDFA) MEDIA CONTACTS • Naomi Mokhele   National Film and Video Foundation   +27 11 483 0880 RELATED ARTICLES • SA film wins international award • Local flair for Sydney film fest • Cannes triumph for South African films • Big grant for African filmmakers • The best of African cinema onlineValencia TalaneAs many as 34 local filmmakers have made their way to the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) – with 22 documentaries in tow – to showcase locally made productions at the prestigious event.It is the largest South African industry delegation yet to take works to an international festival or market. Working with the support of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Documentary Filmmakers’ Association (DFA), the filmmakers will be able to network with producers and filmmakers from the Netherlands and around the world.The Devil’s Lair and The Dream of Sharahrazad, directed by Riaan Hendricks and Francois Verster respectively, are just two of the productions that will be screened. A post-production dinner will also be hosted by the South Africans, which will include performances by a DJ and pantsula dancers from African Cypher, a documentary that won accolades at the 2012 Durban International Film Festival.A 36-year-old ex-convict and gang leader from the Cape Flats is the subject of The Devil’s Lair. It follows him along his path of self-discovery, during which he confronts his violent past while at the same time tries to take care of his young family. His environment, the often violent Cape Flats, presents challenges for the man in his attempts to achieve a balance between the demands of his two roles.Worlds away, The Dream of Sharahrazad takes the viewer through the Arab Spring, as revolutions in several Arabic countries in 2011 have come to be known. It explores the changes in Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon, using the famous story collection, One Thousand and One Nights, or Arabian Nights.“We are very grateful to once again be part of this amazing platform,” said the NFVF’s chief executive, Zama Mkosi. “The IDFA provides us with yet another opportunity to take local projects to the world, which is one of our key objectives.”The IDFA is the biggest documentary film festival in the world, and every year it accepts documentaries from around the world for screening. To be chosen, the films need to meet certain criteria such as relevance of the topic, execution of the project and appeal to the audience.The DTI’s Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme works with filmmakers to help expose local productions to a wider market, as well as to assist their efforts to break into the international market. A member of the DFA board, Mayenzeke Baza, said initiatives like the EMIA were important for the growth, development and transformation of the industry in South Africa.They helped to expose emerging and previously disadvantaged filmmakers to different markets, he said, and opportunities to sell their products to international broadcasters and funders.“The documentary film genre is unique,” said Baza. “It stimulates public discourse, reflects on social, political, cultural and current events, explores history, commemorates heritage and unearths the mysteries of the universe and the planet.”The IDFA opens on 13 November and runs until 24 November. Slideshow image is of a scene from The Devil’s Lair, and is courtesy of Vimeolast_img read more

US-Africa summit a major breakthrough: Zuma

first_img7 August 2014African leaders and the United States have agreed to work together to build stronger trade ties between the two continents, South African President Jacob Zuma said at the close of the historic US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington on Wednesday.Hailing the summit as a major success, Zuma touted the inroads made at the summit, including more than $33-billion in investments in Africa announced by US President Barack Obama.The summit, the first of its kind to be hosted by a US president, was seen by many as an attempt by Obama, who has African origins, to recalibrate relations between America and Africa. Some say it was also a legacy issue for Obama, whose father hails from Kenya.However, Zuma said that the conference had succeeded in bringing almost all African leaders together under one roof to discuss common interest with the United States, a crucial market for African goods.Africa is home to six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies and a rapidly expanding middle class, Zuma said, and this week’s summit was an affirmation both of Africa’s growth and of US willingness to take Africa on board as the two regions seek to expand their growth.South Africa’s inclusion in Agoa ‘no longer an issue’He added that, following the summit, the question of whether South Africa would continue to be part of a renewed Agoa no longer an issue.“That to us is very important, because before we came here some people were saying South Africa is now developed and doesn’t need Agoa. That is no longer the issue, because everyone has realised that South Africa is one of the key players in the integration of the continent and [that] if you pull South Africa out of that you really will be in a sense destabilising that process.”A ministerial meeting at the US State Department ahead of Wednesday’s summit had also eased lingering doubts regarding the Obama administration’s support for the renewal of the African Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) when the Act’s current term comes to an end next year.“Given the manner in which this summit has helped to foster our relationship, it’s going to be very difficult for any future American leader to come and ignore that this summit has taken place and what it has achieved,” Zuma said.Support for Africa’s stand-by forceHe said a great part of the summit’s deliberations had focused on boosting US business ties with Africa, the continuation of Agoa, good governance as well as peace and security.The US also pledged to provide financial support for Africa’s stand-by force, which is expected to start operating in October.The good news is that America has changed its earlier stance on conflict resolution on the continent, and will not attempt to send any troops to Africa in times of crisis but will instead leave this to the continent’s leaders and the African Union.Since 2009, the US has committed to provide nearly $892-million to develop African peacekeeping capacity and strengthen African institutions. The US has also come out strongly in support of the work done by more than 67 000 African peacekeepers serving with the African Union and United Nations in Africa.US ‘not just playing catch-up with ChinaZuma played down suggestions made by some analysts that the US was simply playing catch-up with China, which is increasingly expanding its presence in the continent.“The view is that anyone who wants to make business in Africa is welcome. The Chinese have a role to play. Even Obama says they have a relationship with China. China’s presence in Africa is not an issue that was discussed. What we discussed was that Africa is opening up and whoever wants to come and invest is welcome.“Africa is saying here we are, we are ready to do business, and whoever wants to do business with Africa must come. A relationship should be based on mutual benefit and understanding,” Zuma said.There were fears, earlier this week, that the US stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict and the current outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in west Africa would overshadow the summit.But in his final press conference at the end of the summit, Obama said leaders from both sides had emerged more determined to strengthen ties between the US and one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing regions.New financing to promote US exports to Africa“The summit advanced our shared interests in increased US-Africa trade and US investment in Africa and highlighted America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people,” Obama said.“By enabling discussion of tangible actions that can be taken to deepen the US-Africa partnership, the Summit fostered stronger ties between the United States and Africa.”The summit’s theme – “investing in the next generation” – reflected the common ambition that the US shared with Africa “to leave our nations better for future generations by making concrete gains in peace and security, good governance, and economic development,” he said.On Wednesday, Obama announced $33-billion in new financing to promote US exports to and investment in Africa.He made the announcement at the first US-Africa Business Forum, where he said that $7-billion would go to new financing to promote US exports to and investments in Africa under the Doing Business in Africa Campaign.US companies will also sign deals in clean energy, aviation, banking, and construction worth more than $14-billion, in addition to $12-billion in new commitments under the President’s Power Africa initiative from private sector partners, the World Bank, and the government of Sweden.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Is Your Startup Too Geeky?

first_imgaudrey watters If you tell most folks that Diaspora is promising to build a distributed, open-source social network, they are apt look at you glassy-eyed. Perhaps they’ll nod and say, “Oh. Cool.” Tell those same people that Diaspora is promising to build an alternative to Facebook, and they’re much more likely to know what you are talking about. And as of late, it’s much more likely they’ll nod and say, “Oh! Cool!” – and mean it.Now, it’s not that the idea of a distributed, open-source social network is a bad one. To the contrary. But the stars that lined up for Diaspora this week and that resulted in their securing over $100,000 in microfunding probably wasn’t due entirely to the technical specifications they boasted for their project: “Full-fledged communications between Seeds (Diaspora instances), Complete PGP encryption, External Service, Scraping of most major services (reclaim your data), Version 1 of Diaspora’s API with documentation, Public GitHub repository of all Diaspora code.”Of course, these details matter. Building an anti-Facebook might be a timely idea, but you also need to have (or hire) the technical chops to bring that idea to fruition. No matter how beautiful or brilliant your code, investors and customers are probably not all that interested in, for example, the intricacies of how you plan to use JSON to handle your payload. They need to know that your product works and works well, and just as importantly, you need to show them why they’d want to use it. There are exceptions, for sure, and times when it’s necessary to speak to the technical details. You might need to address why you’ve chosen to build your new smartphone app in Flash, for example.My point isn’t that your ideas are too geeky or complex. Here at ReadWriteWeb, we love geeky, complex ideas. The point is that when you sharing your ideas with others that you need to pay attention to who comprises your audience. You need to make sure that you help them understand why they should care in your ideas (why they should invest in your startup or become your customer) and you need to craft your message accordingly.You want to give someone a reason why they should use your product. But you needn’t give them the user’s manual.Brain coral photo from Flickr 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#start#tips center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts last_img read more

Pitching Without a Pitch Deck

first_imgaudrey watters Tags:#start#tips Startups often put a lot of work into a pitch deck. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, you don’t want to be stuck delivering a presentation to potential investors which is eminently awful because of your slides.But here’s a piece of advice that may run counter to “build good slides.” And that’s “be ready to ditch the slides altogether.”To do so certainly demands that you’re ready and able to deliver a compelling story and demo in order to pitch your startup.Primers and Pitch DecksInvestor Mark Suster wrote a post last week, a primer on raising VC funds. Part of the post addresses the pitch deck, including what slides he recommends you include in it. A problem definition, details on the solution, a bio of top 3 people in the company, market size, exit possibilities, and so on — all in hort sentences, bullet points, easy to read. (Read the whole post. I’m not doing it justice here.)Following Suster’s post, several other investors wrote responses arguing that, while Suster’s recommendations for VC fundraising were solid, the pitch deck wasn’t necessarily something that they cared too much about.Bryce Roberts of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures responded with his argument for a “secret weapon” – the whiteboard. Rather than deliver a pitch that echoes the same format of multitudes of other presentations – one during which your audience is more likely to tune out simply because the format is so predictable – consider stepping up to a whiteboard for a different, more active sort of presentation.“When an entrepreneur steps to the whiteboard the energy in the room totally changes. There’s movement, there’s action, there’s something happening that requires attention. The conversation moves from consuming images on a screen in lean back mode, to active engagement. Half baked ideas get refined, new ideas emerge and a two way dialog develops where a one way homologue once was,” writes Roberts.Telling Your Story to InvestorsJason Baptiste, whose startup OnSwipe just raised $1 million in a seed round led by Spark Capital and Betaworks, agrees.He too stresses the importance of being able to step away from a reliance on the PowerPoint slides in order to engage more actively with potential investors. Baptiste said that OnSwipe found great success in being able to deliver a strong demo along with a compelling story. While he says he did have a pitch deck, he and his co-founders offered to skip it, something that investors readily agreed to, during the pitch.Baptiste echoes Roberts, arguing that by freeing oneself from the presentation mode that a PowerPoint seems to dictate, he was able to give a much more engaging pitch to potential investors.The funding for OnSwipe was raised in a marathon 30 days, something Baptise says the company was able to do by really targeting the right funds – those interested in media and tech. (Baptiste’s startup OnSwipe is a publishing platform for tablets.) But this too points to the way in which the entrepreneurs were able to enter the room with potential investors and engage in a compelling presentation – without relying on slides to tell their story or demo their product. Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Indian Air Force officer

first_img“Being a soldier is more than courage. It’s sacrificing you, for something greater than yourself.” – AnonymousThe Indian Air Force- careerAn officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. To be able to lead and control requires the ability to motivate, inspire others and make tough decisions efficiently.Joining the IAF helps in developing leadership and management skills and also prepares one to take up challenges in real life situations. Lessons in team work, developing communication skills and confidence, honing strategic and dynamic thinking and preparing you to face pressures with ease are grilled into an officer during his training.The Air Force teaches you all, not only making men and women of young boys and girls but making them leaders in life. An officer’s strength of character and strong moral compass make him/her stand out from the crowd at all times.Branches in Indian Air Force:Flying:FightersTransportsHelicoptersTechnical branch:MechanicalElectronicsGround duty branch:AdministrationAccountsLogisticEducationMeteorologySkills required:Adaptability to all aspects of lifeCourageAbility to sacrificeStrong headedMasculine builtLeadership skillsIndependentSocialDisciplinedAbility of taking quick decisionsPlacid and punctualAware and knowledgeableWhere to study?National Defense Academy -National Defense Academy (NDA), at Khadakwasla, is one of the most prestigious inter-services training establishments in India. Brilliant military leaders, astronauts and several recipients of gallantry and distinguished service awards have graduated from this institution. The training curriculum spread over three years at the Academy is largely divided into the following activities:Physical TrainingService SubjectsAcademics (you would get a graduate degree on completion of course)advertisementCadets would go to Air Force Academy for flying training of one year duration. On successful completion of training, they get commissioned as Permanent Commission Officers in Flying Branch.Air Force Academy (AFA) – The Air Force Academy imparts training to Flying, Technical and Ground Duty Branches as well as flying training to officers of the Army and Navy. It prepares you, both in mind and spirit, to take on the responsibilities of an Air Force Officer. Apart from developing the required skills, you are also trained to inculcate the service code of conduct and etiquette that are expected of an officer. The curriculum encompasses plethora of techniques like projects, case studies, On-job training, presentations, debates, book reviews, guest lectures, public speaking, drill, games, swimming, weapon training, Yoga, field craft training and cultural activities.Air Force Technical College – On completion of 22 weeks of initial training conducted at Air Force Academy. Thereafter, the remaining 52 weeks of training of engineering Officers is conducted at Air Force Technical College   (AFTC), Bangalore. The training at AFTC is divided into two terms of 24 weeks each separated by a term break. The training includes work in electronic and propulsion labs, specialisation involving visits to R & D establishments, aviation, electronic industries and front line field units to facilitate assimilation.Flying Training Establishment. Air Force Administrative College (AFAC)-Air Force Administrative College (AFAC), located at Coimbatore, is one of the oldest training establishments of the Indian Air Force. It has been set up exclusively for conducting training programs for in-service officers of the Air Force, Navy and Army as well as officers of friendly foreign countries. Various courses conducted for in service officers are:Basic Air Staff Course:Officers (BASCO)Intermediate Air Staff Course: Officers (ISCO)Basic Professional Knowledge Course: Officers (BPKC)Advances Professional Knowledge Course: Officers (APKC)Para Legal CourseBesides these, this College is a premier institute for conducting Meteorology branch related courses:-Initial Forecasters’ Course (IFC)Advanced Met Courses for Met Tradesmen (SNCOs)2nd Stage Training of GDOC (Met)Job profile:As an officer in the Indian Air Force, you lead a challenging, adventurous and rewarding life. As you grow in the organisation, you get many opportunities along your way, like a chance for specialised training in India and abroad, option to study further, possibility to get posted in Indian missions abroad, amongst others. You become an integral part of the adventurous and challenging life Air Force offers you.Pay and benefits:Loans:As a member of AFGIS, you can avail following loans:House Building LoanComputer LoanConveyance LoanFree medical facilities:  Life long, for officer and family. (Children until dependent)Insurance- Monthly contribution rates are minimal and the insurance policy covers all contingencies. As an Air Force Officer you are insured for an amount of Rs 50 lakhs with an additional insurance cover of Rs 3.5 lakh for pilots.Other benefits:AccommodationLeave- Annual leave for 60 days and casual leave of 20 days per yearLeave travel concessionsRationsInstitute and Messes membershipSchool facilitiesRail concessionsSecured camp lifeCSD facilitiesRecreational and sports facilities    advertisementPost retirement benefits: PensionAfter retirement from the service, an IAF Officer is entitled to a decent pension which takes care of the needs of the familyInsurancePost retirement insurance cover is provided to all Air Force pensioners who have rendered pensionable years of service on payment of minimal premium. The cover given by the Society is up to 72 years of age.MedicalAll the retired officers and their dependents have access to medical rooms and hospitals equipped with the best of the facilities. Apart from being entitled to the medical facilities, retired Air Force personnel is also authorised for the following benefits: Lifetime medical insurance and grant for commercial venture for personnel who have left due to medical reasons.Scope:Serving the nation is one of the most courageous yet the most satisfying professions. An officer is the epitome of perfection. It’s certainly not easy but if you believe you can qualify, this is the best job for any individual. It grooms you into becoming a perfectionist at anything and the perks are exceptionally high. So, there is a great deal to look up to. There’s a lot of scope joining the IAF as the country can never have enough of military backup.last_img read more